Sunday, May 29, 2011

May 29, 2011, Memorial Remembrance

Triumphant Victorious Reminders
Inspired by the Holy Spirit
Written by: Teresa Criswell, May 25, 2009

"The Lord bless you and watch, guard and keep you; The Lord make His face to shine upon and enlighten you and be gracious (kind, merciful, and giving favor) to you; the Lord lift His [approving] countenance upon you and give you peace."
~ Number 6:24-26~ Amplified Version

Grasped hands holding on hoping this moment will not end. Yet reality interrupts as their hands slowly slide apart. The hands of a wife and husband. I imagine a wife holding back the overwhelming emotions that she feels at this very moment. She tries with all her mind to capture this very moment praying it will forever be seared in her heart and mind. Her husband dressed in uniform as he represents his country but also his family. He slowly walks away as his body faces forward, yet his head still turned back looking at his wife; watching the tears softly roll down her rosy cheeks.

Suddenly, the door flings open as his children cry running after him, wanting to touch him just one more time. He swiftly turns back around, bends down with his strong arms open wide receiving each child as his shoulders shake uncontrollably. You can't hear him crying but you can see his whole body cry for the love of his family. I imagine that at this moment he will not allow pride to stop him from the tears that reveal he will miss his beautiful wife and children. The bitter moment of feeling his heart become heavy. He needs supernatural strength to walk away and say, "Yes" to his country.

I interrupt this thought to truly honor those who have served in the military known as our mighty 'veterans', the men and women who currently serve and those who soon will. I want to make sure that every person that wears a military uniform representing the United States of America is honored this beautiful Memorial Day.

We honor the lives that were not lived in vain nor did they die in vain. The vast wealth of life of the families who serve our country, "Wow!" To even think about it is humbling. As I type these words it reveals my freedom that our warriors of liberty and freedom allowed. Thank you for your sacrifice to you and your beautiful families. The amazing part is many of you do not look at it as a sacrifice but as an honor and a privilege. I thank God for all of you.

I thank you and God bless you as you truly are warriors of liberty and freedom. Gratefulness does not come close to describe how most of the country is grateful to God for your lives. I am grateful to God for each of you. I pray God who was revealed by Christ's life on this earth and is now revealed by the Holy Spirit; I pray his grace and peace be upon each of you. I pray His amazing protection over each of you in the Mighty Name of Jesus (Psalm 91).

I pray the scene that I imagined earlier will continue with this soldier coming back, placing his bags on the ground, inhaling the fragrance of home, finally embracing his family once again.

Thank you Lord Jesus for your Ultimate sacrifice yet your glorious resurrection in which we have eternal hope in, IF we say, "Yes" to your freedom and receive You as Lord and Savior.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Do I know my calling to worthiness?

Triumphant Victorious Reminders
Inspired by the Holy Spirit
Written by: Teresa Criswell

"Therefore I, a prisoner for serving the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of your calling, for you have been called by God. Be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other's faults because of your love. Always keep yourselves united in the Holy Spirit, and bind yourselves together with peace...be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you."
~ Ephesians 4:1-3 & 32 ~


This glorious morning I went on a walk, communing with God as He reminded me to pray over my block, echoing back His Word over the sidewalks, backed up by homes filled with lives in all sorts of situations, from brokenness, to ruin, and the familiar smells of hopelessness and despair. I was reminded to pray forth our Awesome God into the lives of those to bind up the brokenhearted, set the captives free and that the Liberator of hearts and lives overtake each of them with His glorious love accompanied with worthiness (Me and family included).

As I continued to walk, this question came forth from my spirit..."Do you know your calling to know and walk in worthiness?" Whenever I am asked a question, most likely I don't know the answer. So waiting to find out what I needed to learn in this classroom called, Life, I continued to walk with the wind compelling me to be in awe of God's Holy Spirit. As the awesome reminder of what has been bestowed upon me overwhelmed me, the following came forth:
"You have realized you are worthy, and that worthiness must compel you to see the value in others. Worthiness does not seek in pride what I believe is due to me or deserved, but it is truly about knowing my worth from God causes responsibility to rise up and out, valuing others and allowing them to see the worth that God sees and has destined for them to live in."

Today, I have been reminded with such overwhelming power that worthiness does not seek its own, but true worth is driven by Love who seeks to love others.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

May 21, 2011, "Out of the mouth of babes"

Triumphant Victorious Reminders
Inspired by the Holy Spirit
Written by: Teresa Criswell

"Do you hear what these children are saying? 'Yes', Jesus replied. "Haven't you ever read the Scriptures? For they say, 'You have taught children and infants to give you praise'."
~ Matthew 21:16 ~


My daughter has been utilized as a mighty vessel of praise from the Lord and to the Lord. I had a major 'wake up call' this morning in my life. I caught myself scoffing and making fun of Harold Camping who sincerely believes that May 21st is Judgement Day with the Rapture of God's people taking place today. The compassion for him and his followers were absent until this morning.

My daughter came down the stairs and said, "Mom, let's praise God right now together." I looked at her with awe and said, "OK"! I had no idea what she intended to talk to the Lord about. She started talking to God and said these words,
"God, I love you Lord. I thank You for this beautiful day that you have blessed us with. Lord, I pray for the people who believe that today is judgement day. Lord, I feel bad for the kids who are scared and families that are broken up because of this whole thing. Lord, I know that no man knows the hour or the day of your return, not even the angels know. Maybe, this man forgot to read Matthew 24 and only read Revelation, he forgot to read a few pages of the Bible. Lord, I don't want him to be made fun of when today ends up being another day. Maybe he pressed the wrong button on his calculator. I've done that before. I pressed the minus button instead of the multipication button. God, please talk to him and to others so that he won't be made fun of."

She said so much more that just left me with my mouth opened and my head shaking back and forth at such wisdom from a girl, yet within her is a spirit that has no age, covered by the Holy Spirit of God.

Apparently, she had great concern yesterday when she heard from a boy in her class that he was going to go home and pack because of judgement day. She was really sad for him as she said, "Mom, I feel really bad. They are going to find out that when it doesn't happen, they are going to have to unpack."

Let us pray for these people who truly believe they love God, and are sincere in what they believe, and truly feel they are being persecuted for something God did not call us to be persecuted for...believing something He said no one would know...the day or the hour of His triumphant return!

I am reminded today by my daughter inspired by the Spirit of God, to let us love, not laugh at someone else's expense. We must pray for the many who are being led astray. Let us pray that they will hear the voice of The One True Shepherd, who is in no way a hierling.

To read my daughter's blog you can click here.

May 21, 2011, "Forgiveness"

Triumphant Victorious Reminders
Inspired by the Holy Spirit
Written By: Teresa Criswell

Today's reminder is from two years ago...I pray you are blessed as I was.


"And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him and let it drop (leave it, let it go), in order that your Father Who is in heaven may also forgive you your [own] failings and shortcomings and let them drop."
~ Mark 11:25 ~ Amplified Version


The thoughts of how her friend spoke to her, she rehearsed in her mind like a broken record. The more she 'nurtured' the pain, the more her face revealed pain and anger; unknowingly feeding bitterness.

Surrounded with beauty of her children and the love of her husband she would rather not give place to because her mind was so consumed with how she felt she was wronged. Legitimately, she had a 'right' to be angry, however, that right infringed on her joy from the Lord. It infringed on enjoying her beautiful blessings. Her life itself.

I am amazed when we don't hold a grudge against someone that perception has great life and most things seem to be seen with beautiful technicolor? The way you receive things are different. Yet, have you noticed that when we perceive things through pain and betrayal, nothing seems to be right? When you do hold a grudge or unforgiveness against someone, maybe due to betrayal, your perception truly changes. You tend to look at everything through the 'eyes' of betrayal, grudges, and unforgiveness. Leariness comes instead of compassion.

I believe that one of the many reasons why Jesus said, "When you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, drop it, let it go..." because He knows that when we stand with unforgiveness, we are unable to communicate in prayer with His perception, instead it is through our wronged perception that we 'attempt' to pray.

I believe praying is truly 'echoing' back what the Word of God says over a person or situation. Praying should not be 'echoing' back what has already happened, that's called re-hashing things, meditating on what has already happened only makes it worse.

Writing at this moment has allowed the Holy Spirit to convict me with a reminder of what I am called to do, whether I feel like it or not. I am not here for my own purpose, I am here for His. In that purpose there is constant growth, constant learning, constant reminding and constant changing before The God who never changes. Let us praise our God that He is the same yesterday, today and forever. He remains the same as everything else is constantly changing. He is the only One we can trust to never change.

Today, I am reminded of what He has required of me. To do justly, to love kindness and mercy, and walk humbly before my God as I forgive others not holding grudges (Micah 6:8).

Finally, we must not confuse forgiving sin with forgiving others. We do not have the ability to forgive sin, however, we do have the ability to forgive the person by the Grace of Almighty God. Sometimes the hurt caused, allows forgiveness to be a tool to pray for that person or people and loving them with God's love, not our own. I must be reminded at times that forgiveness does not mean I have to 'hang out' with that person; but forgiveness is a tool that God bestows upon us so freely, that we must bestow on others.

Forgiveness is not mine. It has been provided for me, but not only for me but to go through me onto someone else.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

It is about...

Triumphant Victorious Reminders
Inspired by the Holy Spirit
Written by: Teresa Criswell

"And Jesus went forth, and saw a great multitude, and was moved with compassion toward them and He healed their sick."
~ Matthew 14:14 ~

I must remember...
It is not about the power of prayer,
It is about the Powerful God to Whom I pray to.
It is not about the power of healing,
It is about the Compassionate God who is Healer.
It is not about our faith in healing that makes us whole,
It is about our faith in God that makes us whole.
It is not about the story that moves us to tears,
provoking our emotions and then getting over it.
It is about the tears provoking our emotions leading us
to action, revealing true compassion.
It is not about the promises,
It is about the One Who is the Promiser who provides the promises.
It is not about me.
It is about our Awesome God.
This life and the life to come is about The Creator of the heavens and the earth.
The First and The Last,
The Beginning and The End,
The Alpha and Omega,
It is about the One Who delivered me.
It is about My Deliverer, My Strong Tower, My Refuge, My Life and My All.
My God is the reason that I breathe,
The reason that I smile,
The reason I can laugh so hard I pee myself.
The reason I live is because He Lives.
The life now and the life to come is about the One Who Lives and is exalted at the right hand of the Father. It is...

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Perspective revealed...

"...Perfect love casts out fear..."
~ I John 4:18 ~


Have you ever sat in the movie theater and wanted to cheer for the character that captivates your heart? I have. I experienced this last night as my son and I watched Soul Surfer.

There was a scene in the movie in which the main character, Bethany, is in the midst of many teenagers and their youth group meeting, sitting and listening to their youth pastor show a couple of close up photography shots that take up the whole television screen. She asked the young people to guess what the pictures were. The answers from the teenagers were interjected throughout the scene as they gave their assumptions. When the still photographs were zoomed out, one frame ended up being a fly and the other frame ended up being a walnut in a shell; their assumptions were not even close to what was revealed. The youth pastor explained that what their assumptions were was likened to life. In life we sometimes see things so up close that it thwarts the real picture. Because of this, the youth pastor reiterated that there are many times when we must see life from a different perspective.

When Bethany's arm was suddenly and violently ripped from her body as she was attacked by a massive shark, her life became different in many ways. The one thing that remained was her tenacity to see life with beautiful perspective. Her perspective became more focused. Her life before and even after the shark attack was consumed with the obsession of surfing. However, when she went on her first mission trip, her perspective changed from the sport of surfing to the purpose for each of our lives to be consumed with true obsession, which is being consumed by the Love of God to be lavishly placed upon others.

In another scene of the movie, there were a few surfboards on the tsunami, ravaged beach in Thailand as they went on a mission trip. In one of the scenes, Bethany tucked one of the surfboards under her arm, and used the surfboard as a tool that God utilized to reveal new perspective as she woo'ed a little boy who was found a few days prior floating to shore after the tsunami had hit. He wouldn't speak, smile or interact with anyone. He was filled with fear in general, but was also fearful of entering the waters. but when she coaxed him into the water, he surprisingly followed Bethany and she was able to see deliverance of his fear of the water; and ended up enjoying every moment of hanging out on the surfboard with her. The fear over that little boy was washed away by the beautiful waters of God's love that Bethany was able to reveal over him.


I was strikingly overhwelmed with inspiration by Bethany's faith in God. As I watched a glimpse of her shaken circumstances squeezing her character, what came out revealed a young woman filled with optimism that God's plan was to take the seemingly impossible and turn it into possibilities she or anyone else around her could never have ever imagined or dreamt.

This unimagniative reminder of when we see issues of our life not panning out the way we planned; we must remember that our life is not over. When life squeezes us; we will truly see what is on the inside of us.

This leads me to the provoking questions of When the circumstances of life squeeze me, do I reveal my trust in God? Do I have a lot to work through? O yes indeed...yet, Bethany inspired me to be my biggest cheerleader over myself towards God and His plans over me to be a ministering laborer towards others.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Delivering flowers!

"And now abide faith, hope, love; these three, but the greatest of these is love."
~ I Corinthians 13:13 NKJV ~


"It's all about love, love, love, love..." I hummed to myself.

It is, isn't it? It's ALL about LOVE.

God IS LOVE and for those of us who have received His LOVE FREELY; we MUST GIVE FREELY.

I have told a few, that my dream job is to deliver flowers. I tell you this, so that you can appreciate what happened yesterday. I was able to give an encouraging over a woman from Columbia. As she received the words of encouragement, she replied with a gorgeous smile, "Thank you for the flowers."
I laughed out loud and said, "What did you say?"
She said, "In Columbia when someone gives a compliment or a word of encouragement we say, "Thank you for the 'flowers'."

In that moment, not only was my day made, but I realized as though I received a, "God Wink", I'm living out my dream 'job'...I get to give 'flowers' in the form of love-filled words saturated in God's loving fragrance. Did you know this 'job' never gets tiresome? This is so amazing.

Let us saturate the 'world 'around us with the LOVE that we have freely received.
My own love is not enough, but HIS LOVE goes on for eternity.

True love looks past the faults and sees what is to become.
Genuine Love sees with genuine faith.
Genuine Love allows us to pray with genuine faith.
And Genuine Love allows us to see the spell broken over lives that would seem hopeless and wasted.

Some examples of how to saturate the 'world' around us with love:
~ An embrace
~ A word of encouragement
~ Cookies with a card
~ A small gift
~ A phone call

The list goes on...we can make a difference with the ONE who has made an impacting, eternal, indescribably, incredible difference in and over our lives...Jesus Christ! Jesus Christ Who is in us, is the HOPE OF GLORY for others to see and experience (Colossians 1:27).